Help win the next Blue Wave

By Heidi Rand

Deadline: Now & ongoing – We are the resistance, and hell yeah we can chew gum and walk at the same time! In fact, even as we work to impeach the Traitor-in-Chief and his evil minions (chewing them up & spitting them out), we’re also walking and knocking doors in our communities to register voters, Get Out the Vote (GOTV), and more!

But time is flying; the California Presidential Primary is March 3, 2020, and the Presidential election is November 3, 2020, not even 400 days from this writing. There are also countless elections nationwide that many groups are laser targeting. Indivisible East Bay members worked tirelessly to make the 2018 Blue Wave happen, and we’re busy planning for 2019 and 2020 canvassing trips, text and phone banks, postcard parties, and more! For now, please join us at these events:

  • Oct. 21, 6:45-8:45 PM: Popcorn & Postcarding in Oakland’s Glenview District. Join us in writing postcards for Reclaim Our Vote, the co-sponsored project of the NAACP, Black Voters Matter and others to do outreach to voters of color. RSVP for address.
  • Oct. 27, 1-3 PM: Indivisible East Bay All Members Meeting, at Sports Basement, Berkeley. We’ve got a spooktacular AMM coming up! Bring all your ghoul-friends to hear updates and take action! Info & RSVP.
  • Nov. 5, 6:30-9:30 PM: Join Indivisible Berkeley, IEB, East Bay Activist Alliance & Swing Left East Bay at our Election Night Watch Party for Virginia elections. At Spats, Berkeley. No RSVP needed

And find many many more, organized by great local groups we work with (in random order). Find updated lists in the “Phone! Canvass! More!” section in our weekly newsletter.

1. East Bay Activist Alliance:

[I]s a coalition of elections activists located in the San Francisco Bay Area’s East Bay region. We work to help elect Democrats all over the US, especially at the state level, particularly in areas that can flip red to blue.

The East Bay Activist Alliance is an affiliate of the Sister District Project.

2. Swing Left East Bay:

[I]s fighting to end the destructive policies of the Republican Party and Donald Trump by taking back the political levers of power.

We organize activities in the San Francisco East Bay with the goal of flipping Senate seats in Arizona and Colorado, holding congressional seats in California’s 10th and 21st districts that were won in 2018, and working on other elections as needed to have the greatest strategic impact.

3. Indivisible Berkeley:

[B]rings the Trump Resistance to 4000+ of our closest neighbors in Berkeley and surrounding communities.

Our mission is to resist the Trump agenda by engaging our elected officials at all levels of government and promote progressive and democratic values. Read our entire mission statement here.

4. Flip the West:

During the 2018 election, Flip the West, then known as Flip the 14, made more than 1.5 million voters with allied organizations and helped flip seven House seats in California. We’re now taking the fight to the U.S. Senate and White House.

Flip the West is working to strengthen the Resistance in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, and Texas, while continuing our work in California. We organize meaningful volunteer opportunities to reach voters, recruit volunteers, and provide a number of services to Resistance organizations.

5. Democracy Action:

[Is] an independent group of volunteers dedicated to combating the dangerous Republican agenda and advancing Democrats nationally through local action.

6. Indivisible SF:

[B]elieves in an America that embodies equality, justice, and opportunity for all — a society in which the regressive and dangerous agenda led by Trump has no place.

We work to protect each other and the integrity of our democratic institutions from this agenda, support progressive policies, and hold our elected officials accountable to their constituents.

7. West County Organizing: phone and text banks for state and special elections in El Sobrante. Tuesdays, 1-3 PM, and  every Saturday in October through GOTV, from 11 AM- 1 PM. For info and list of all dates, contact Nancy Klein at 510-917-4045, or by email to nancyklein@westcountyorganizing.com

Whatever your skills or experience, no matter how much or how little time you have to give, everyone can do something, please help in any way you can! If you want to host your own event, or can help us organize ours, email info@indivisibleeb.org

 

Wave, photograph by Hippopx

Heidi Rand fights the evil empire with skills honed as a Ninth Circuit staff attorney and civil rights lawyer, using words to resist, and to inform and inspire others to take action. She also wields a mean camera and knitting needles, though not at the same time.

Change the Regime with Ice Cream!

Nothing’s better than eating ice cream with friends! Now’s the time to reach out to that neighbor who’s upset about immigration or climate change and doesn’t know what to do, and bring them to Indivisible East Bay’s All Members Meeting in Dublin on Sunday, September 29, from 1-3 pm! Tell them to bring their charged up phone + laptop or other device because we have the solution to existential dread — taking action!

To get your new resistance friend up to speed on how Indivisible National works with chapters like ours, we’ve invited Dennessa Atiles, Indivisible’s new organizer for Northern California, Alaska and Hawaii to come share her thoughts. She’ll give an update on priorities for 2020 and her goals for organizing. If you ever wondered how Indy staff helps support all the chapters, now’s your chance to find out.

You and your buddy will be inspired by tireless Livermore community organizer extraordinaire, Kyoko Takayama. One of the leads for Tri-Valley Grassroots Organizing (Tri-Valley GO), Kyoko is now certified as an Alameda County Census 2020 Ambassador and will share more about the outreach efforts in Alameda County and what we can do to help out.

Now that you and your ally in (bare) arms (and hey, we’ve got a t-shirt for that!) are ready to go, you’ll have your choice of our favorite resistance flavors — phone banking, postcarding, or registering voters by mail! We also know it’s the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, and our phone calls will end exactly at 3 pm. Oh, and ice cream, too, because hey, it’s Sundae!

RSVP here (not required but it’ll help us plan how much ice cream to bring!)

Ice cream solves everything, photo by Brendan Church

Phone and text bank for special elections

Updated May 1: Read below for all details and to see all upcoming dates (and check back for additional dates). Note that if a date has no link to RSVP you can RSVP and send any questions directly to host Nancy Klein at nancyklein44@gmail.com or 510-917-4045

Think nothing is happening in May 2019, so far from November 2020?  Think again – a steady stream of special elections needs YOUR help – texting and phoning is up and running. For example, PA-12 House seat is vacant (the repub resigned right after being re-elected) and we have a shot at flipping another seat!  There is a primary in North Carolina in May.  Virginia elects a new House of Delegates this year.

Hero phone and text bankers in West County, who wore their fingers to the bone dialing and texting for the 2018 Blue Wave, are jumping back into weekly (mostly) phone and text-banking parties on Tuesdays from 1 to 3 PM in El Sobrante, and in Richmond starting on May 14.

They’re focusing on the many upcoming special elections, and you can come help slow the trump train by texting and making calls! Join any of these West County phone or text-bank parties, Tuesdays ongoing, anytime between 1 to 3 PM. We’ll update this article as more events are added, so check back!

All are welcome, from newbies to experienced! The hosts will train you and make sure you’re comfortable calling or texting. Bring your phone, charger, and earbuds (for your comfort) AND a laptop or tablet (or when you sign up, let them know you’d like to borrow one), and don’t forget your good cheer and positive energy to #Resist! And bring friends!

To RSVP (if there’s no link for a date) and if you have any questions, contact host Nancy Klein at nancyklein44@gmail.com or 510-917-4045

Phone and text bank for 2019 special elections

Updated May 1: More phone & text banking dates have been added! Read below for all details and to see all upcoming dates. Note that there may not be links to RSVP for some dates – please RSVP and send any questions directly to host Nancy Klein at nancyklein44@gmail.com or 510-917-4045

 

Think nothing is happening in 2019, so far from November 2020? Think again! Hero phone and text bankers in West County, who wore their fingers to the bone dialing and texting for the 2018 Blue Wave, are jumping back into weekly (mostly) phone and text-banking parties on Tuesdays from 1 to 3 PM in El Sobrante, and starting on May 14, in Richmond.

They’re focusing on the many upcoming special elections, and you can come help slow the trump train by texting and making calls! Join any of these West County phone or text-bank parties, Tuesdays ongoing, anytime between 1 to 3 PM. We’ll update this article as more events are added, so check back!

All are welcome, from newbies to experienced! The hosts will train you and make sure you’re comfortable calling or texting. Bring your phone, charger, and earbuds (for your comfort) AND a laptop or tablet (or when you sign up, let them know you’d like to borrow one), and don’t forget your good cheer and positive energy to #Resist! And bring friends!

To RSVP (if there’s no link for a date) and if you have any questions, contact host Nancy Klein at nancyklein44@gmail.com or 510-917-4045

Help Mike Espy win 11/27 special election

Deadline: today and through November 27 –

Surprise! Election season 2018 isn’t over! On November 27, 2018, Democrats have a chance to win a special election for the US Senate seat vacated by Thad Cochran in Mississippi. Representative Mike Espy, former Agriculture Secretary under Bill Clinton, is running against Trump-endorsed Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith, who replaced Cochran on an interim basis.

Espy, who would be Mississippi’s first African-American Senator since Reconstruction, is running as a moderate Democrat. He has stated his support for an increased minimum wage, paid family leave, expanding funding for Medicaid and CHIP, and women’s health initiatives and the right to choose.

We’re organizing events and publicizing other groups’ efforts to support Espy’s run because this is a chance to narrow the Senate’s partisan divide and hopefully force the GOP to the table on more issues. Below is information about our events and other ways you can get involved on your own. Please keep an eye on this post, our website, and the newsletter as we continue to organize to win this seat!

What you can do:

How do you spell success? TLW-GOTMFV

How do you spell “success”? Let me rephrase that: How do you spell “spectacular success”?

The answer is: TLW — as in Indivisible East Bay’s spectacularly successful “The Last Weekend” TLW GOTMFV Palooza. Organized by IEB Governance Committee (GC) member Nancy Latham, with generous and hard-working assistance from numerous other IEB members, the event offered Get Out The Vote phone and text banking, mobilizing voters by district, by issue, and by demographic in critical races across the country.

More than a hundred of us (of YOU!) hunkered down each day from 9 AM to 9 PM on the Last Weekend before the election, November 3rd and 4th, at a house in Oakland’s beautiful Preservation Park. We’d hoped anyone who wasn’t off canvassing in Reno or another California district would show up, but the actual tally blew our estimates away. Volunteers kept coming from all over the East Bay, and by the end over 160 people, many of whom were connecting with IEB for the first time, joined our ranks. And we (YOU!) contacted thousands and thousands of voters!

GC member Nancy
GC member Nancy training a new texter

Some of the many heroes who made the complex event go smoothly: GC member and Senate teams co-lead Linh made sure the over-taxed Wi-Fi network stayed functional, and GC member and newsletter editor Ann offered friendly and helpful greetings at the door (for 9 hours each day!) Many other IEB members provided instant training sessions to first-timers as well as all other support. And a cornucopia of food and drinks helped fuel the massive effort — almost all supplied by donations from IEB members.

GC member Ann
GC member Ann, with earrings made from “I voted by mail” stickers

Did it make a difference? We are confident it did. But you can decide for yourself. Here are just two examples of the many anecdotes we received from volunteers:

One young volunteer was on the phone with someone who wasn’t planning on voting because she was convinced her vote wouldn’t count. The volunteer explained how she used to think the same thing. But then 2016 happened. She talked about the fact that no matter what happened, if she voted, she could feel good about doing her part. The person began to soften but was still concerned that she didn’t know anything about the candidates. So the volunteer gave the person some URLs with candidate information and they looked at them together. By the end of the call, the woman said she would vote!

GC member Nick
GC member Nick text banking

Another volunteer relayed the following: “I called a woman in CA-21, the district that TJ Cox was running in, and asked about her mail-in ballot, because it looked as if she hasn’t sent it back yet. First she said she never received it; then she went through her mail and found it. She wasn’t sure she had time to fill it out, but I talked to her about how important this election is, and how great a guy TJ is — that he will put country over party. I gave her information on where to go to vote and told her she didn’t have to fill out every part of the ballot (she was intimidated by its length)! By the time we got off the phone, I could tell she was smiling and she promised to fill it out and drop it off!”

Nancy Latham contributed to this article, including the top photograph. Other photos by Ted Landau.

 

Phone Banking for our Future (North Berkeley)

Brett Kavanaugh is now a supreme court justice. How would you like to see Trump appoint a THIRD supreme court justice? (LIberal justices Ginsberg and Breyer are both over 80 years old.) Not to mention our nearly *Trillion* dollar deficit as a direct result of tax cuts to the wealthiest, and the almost too-big-to-think-about *imperative* of turning around U.S. climate policy. The next 2 years are of PROFOUND importance to our future.

So, let’s DO something about it. We are partnering with Indivisible to identify Democratic voters in the critical and too-close-to-call Nevada senate race, in coordination with on-the-ground canvassers to Get Out the Vote in Democratic-leaning districts. This is a chance to have a HUGE impact on the chances to take back the Senate.

RSVP here for details.

BRING YOUR PHONE AND A LAPTOP OR TABLET

We will be phone-banking from 4:00 – 8:00. A phone-bank trainer will be on hand to show you the ropes. If you’re hungry, I will have big pot of soup for you, so all you have to do is show up with your phone and laptop (or tablet) and get to know some of your fellow citizens from the state next door. (Feel free to bring a food contribution, but please don’t feel obliged.)

https://www.theguardian.com/law/ng-interactive/2018/jul/09/supreme-court-justice-trump-third-pick-possible

Is this the voter to whom I am speaking?

Deadline: today and every day until November 6 –

What do we want? To Get Out The Vote! When do we want it? Now through November 6! How are we gonna do it? By knocking on doors, making phone calls, and texting!

Our recent article went in-depth on the primo Get Out The Vote (GOTV) tool: canvassing. Next most effective, and ideal if you can’t travel to a flippable district: phone banking. We hear ya, maybe you’re not clinically phone-phobic, but you’ve avoided phone banking like many Indivisible East Bay members because:

I don’t like talking on the phone I’m too busy I’m afraid I won’t know what to say what if the person has a question I can’t answer I was uncomfortable making unwelcome & intrusive phone calls it reminds me of canvassing and how horrible some people were ….

The heroes who told us about these fears and obstacles are now confirmed phone bankers, dialing daily to save our democracy. How did they conquer those anxieties? A combo of using coping methods (snacks, bring a friend, pet a cat); finding out that IEB phone banks are run to address their concerns; and finally – the strongest motivation imaginable (remember how you felt on 11/9/16? this’ll be worse if we don’t do all we can).

I’ll let them tell you in their own words how and why they overcame their hesitations:

I’m so busy I can’t carve out two hours for the phone banks I saw listed, but I contacted the organizer for one near me and she was glad to have me come for however long I could. She also trained me so I now do phone calls on my own throughout the day.

I was scared I wouldn’t know what to say, but the training and the way the system is set up addressed that! The script is right there on the screen, and there are drop down options and prompts. The trainer also reassured us we didn’t have to know everything, we could refer people to the relevant website.

Phone banking makes me anxious, but knowing what to expect and how best to react is really important, and hearing positive stories of other people’s phone banking experiences.

Doing it in a group, and with the friend that I brought along, was so great. It’s stressful, but we took breaks for snacks and to swap stories about our best (and worst) calls.

I used to avoid phone-banking, but now I’m phone-banking a couple of times a week. I realized that if the GOP winds up retaining both houses of Congress I didn’t want to feel I had given less than a 100% effort to prevent it. I still get a queasy feeling before the first call each session but soon I’m rolling and even find myself enjoying the occasional conversations. The best part is I know how much better I’ll feel on Election Day.

So no more excuses, the stakes are too high. We truly need everyone to step up as we’re down to less than two weeks away from the election. One vote can make the difference in an election, YOUR CALL could tip a race.

  • Join us and bring everyone you know to The Last Weekend GOTMFV Palooza!! Saturday and Sunday November 3-4 from 9 AM to 9 PM: full service GOTV MACHINE – with phone banking and texting into multiple critical races, training and technical assistance, handouts, friendly competition, FOOD, and the best part: SAVING DEMOCRACY WITH ALL YOUR FELLOW WARRIORS!!
  • We list dozens of upcoming opportunities to phone bank and canvass on our calendar, and they all include mini-training sessions with experienced members to help you. Find IEB phone banks and canvassing trips and sign up at out our “Volunteer to Flip the G-D- Congress” list & calendar, also easily accessible on our home page
  • Sign up to get our weekly list of phone banks and canvassing trips
  • Check out opportunities to canvass, phone or text bank, write postcards, and more, with these great organizations IEB works in coalition with:
  • Join Indivisible Berkeley in canvassing, phone or text banking, and more! Check out IB events here.
  • See the East Bay for TJ Cox events calendar to support the CA-21 congressional candidate.
  • Canvass in CA-21 with Swing Left East Bay. Check upcoming events and sign up here.
  • Knock on doors to help flip CA-10 for Josh Harder. Info & sign up here.
  • Canvass with Working America AFL-CIO in CA-10 (Modesto) and CA-21 (San Joaquin Valley). You’ll get excellent training and can then sign up for volunteer shifts.

Finally, as a bonus for reading to the end of this article: phone banking can be fun — don’t take our word for it, Pod Save America says so. And read our article about our phone banks at Cat Town in Oakland!

Phone bank as if your future depends on it. Because it does.

Won’t you take me to Cat Town?

By Andrea Lum and Wesley Chang

Since October 2,  Indivisible East Bay has been fortunate enough to hold phone banking events at the unique space of Cat Town, near downtown Oakland. This quirky venue is part café and part cat shelter and is definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in the area, especially (maybe only?) if you like cats.

The partnership developed from a need to find a free, quiet space (check) that was friendly to our progressive activities (check check) and might have a pawsitive effect on nervous phone bankers (meow and check). We are so grateful that Cat Town generously volunteered their space for us to use. It’s become so popular, we have had to close the registration twice in the past month!

Phone banking with Indivisible East Bay
Calmer calling amidst kitties. photo by Wesley Chang

On October 17, it was among a clowder of playful and friendly (and a tad skittish) cats that a group of volunteers gathered for their weekly phone banking. As the cats napped, climbed, and scurried about, volunteers worked on their laptops and phones, reaching out to potential swing voters in Nevada ahead of the upcoming midterm elections. The roaming cats were certainly a welcome diversion during breaks.  We may have provided a diversion to them as well.

Phone banking with Indivisible East Bay
Multi-tasking is an essential component of phone banking. photo by Wesley Chang

Many thanks to Ann Dunn and all the staff at Cat Town for their generosity in letting Indivisible East Bay use their beautiful space. If you follow Cat Town on Instagram, you might just find your next feline soul mate!

And a huge thank you to Pro Bono Photo for arranging the services of cat whisperer and photographer Wesley Chang for the fantastic photos!

It’s your turn! Please join us — sign up for as many phone banks or other Get Out the Vote events as you can from now until November 6. See our “Volunteer to Flip the G-D- Congress” list and calendar, and find out what you can do on the critical Last Weekend.